News Local/State

No Child Left Behind Waiver Brings New Guidelines To Illinois Schools


Illinois recently received approval for a flexibility waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The state was allowed to develop a new plan in order to prepare students for college and careers.

Illinois is the 43rd state to receive this approval. The waiver is taking a new approach to rating state public schools. 

A new system to measure academic performance, called the Multiple Measure Index, or MMI, is currently being developed.

Illinois State Board of Education Spokeswoman, Mary Fergus, said it has two overarching goals.

“We hope to cut or reduce in half the percentage of all students who are not meeting proficiency levels within 6 years, and the other is to reduce by half the state’s achievement gaps within 6 years,” Fergus said.

The next step is to assess student progress with a new test for third through eighth graders. It’s called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers, or PARCC. This will replace the ISAT.

After results are gathered from the PARCC test, target achievement goals for students will be set. Different targets may be set in order to reduce achievement gaps between various groups of students.

The waiver becomes effective at the start of the 2014-2015 school year.